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Departmental Redundancy

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people were made redundant in his Department in each of the last three years; and how much was paid in redundancy compensation in each such year. (197997)

This Department's 2007-08 voluntary early departure scheme is not a multi-annual scheme but was open for applications between September 2007 and January 2008 with provision set aside in this financial year for any payments to retirees, consequent on their departure under this scheme, which might fall in future years. It immediately followed a previous voluntary early departure scheme which ran from December 2006 to July 2007. We do have some records for 2005-06, however these are not as detailed as those for the last two years, so it is not possible to provide precise figures for this period.

During financial years 2006-07 and 2007-08 a total of 751 people took up the option of voluntary early retirement or severance (133 in 2006-07 and 618 in 2007-08). The estimated cost to the Department for these two periods has been £14.8 million and £49 million, respectively, on the funding of voluntary early departures under either scheme. There are currently no plans to launch further voluntary early departure schemes.

In RPA the estimated costs during the financial year 2006-07 was a credit of £74,000, which was due to a reduction in the provision for exit costs and was made up of five people. This was as a result of some staff from 2005-06 withdrawing from their arrangements. In 2007-08 14 staff left on the early departures scheme, with an estimated cost of £1,062,000.